Overview

Revamped classics and old favourites have visitors flocking to Melbourne’s beachside neighbourhood like a seagull to a hot potato chip.

1. Hotel Esplanade

Iconic St Kilda pub The Espy has been revamped to include 12 bars and two restaurants in addition to its live music stages. Climb the grand staircase to Mya Tiger for a fresh, seasonal Cantonese share menu, or discover the cellar-door atmosphere of the Espy Kitchen, perfect for pizza, burgers and seafood. The matching drinks menus are, naturally, outstanding.

2. Radio Mexico

Fresh, fun, tasty. Pull up indoors or out for Mexican street eats in a casual atmosphere at Radio Mexico. Pick from a delicious list of tacos – from Baja beer battered fish to chipotle prawn and slaw. Tack on some Radio Favourites and leave room for sweets. Margaritas and plenty of local and Mexican cerveza keep you cooled down and chilled out.

3. Prince Dining Room

With a makeover that preserves the original pub's art deco architecture, the Prince Dining Room serves up unpretentious luxury from its seaside location. Here it’s all about shared plates, local produce and robust Mediterranean flavours. A St Kilda cornerstone, the Prince Hotel is also home to the Prince Bandroom, public bar, and drinking hole Little Prince Wine.

4. Captain Baxter

Inspired by the tropical beach bungalows of the 1920s, Captain Baxter impresses with its cool white interiors, verdant greenery and fully retractable roof – perfect for those balmy beachside evenings. Creative cocktails, seafood and bay views? Yes, please.

5. Sister of Soul

Plant-based restaurant Sister of Soul may have committed carnivores reconsidering their diets. Various food allergies are catered for, with no lack of variety or flavour. Come for cocktails and a big brekkie in the morning, and graze over gnocchi, acai bowls, burgers or mee goreng for lunch and dinner.

6. Stokehouse

Whether it's a casual dinner in your board shorts or a special celebration you're after, Stokehouse has you covered. Socialise over seafood and share plates from the Pontoon grill; fish and chips at Paper Fish on the beachside (in warmer months); or go for exceptional fine dining upstairs at Stokehouse.

7. Donovans

Diners at cosy Donovans feel immediately at home in what the owners call 'their house on the beach'. Enjoy a drink in the lounge before settling in for a night of impeccable chef's-hatted Mediterranean fare and uninterrupted bay views.

8. Cafe di Stasio

Long-standing Cafe di Stasio impresses with its genteel white-jacketed waitstaff and a fine menu of seasonal produce and Italian specialities. Opt for à la carte or the three-course menu selection, and choose from an extensive wine list, including drops from Rinaldo di Stasio's own Yarra Valley estate.

9. Black Star Pastry

Step into futuristic sweets store Black Star for cult hit cakes and pastries, accompanied by coffee by St Ali. Taste some little layers of bliss with the signature strawberry watermelon cake, some lemon pistachio, or the Zen cheesecake, inspired by Japanese rock gardens. Take home an All-Star box of divine cakes if you can't choose one.

10. Milk the Cow

Lactose-intolerant food-lovers – look away. As the name suggests, Milk the Cow is a champion of cheese. The St Kilda outpost is the sibling of Melbourne's Carlton location, and offers cheeseboards as well as cheese flights paired with your favourite tipples. Remember to peer into the cheese cabinet for goodies to go.

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